What were the chances that a Bastille Day luncheon invitation would also include the chance to dine with a couple of débonnaire Frenchmen – and Chefs at that: the acclaimed 3 hat Melbourne Chef Jacques Reymond and Sydney patissiere Vincent Gadan. And so what were the odds that on Bastille Day (or in truth the day before) we would be eating a French menu too.
The lunch was hosted by premium French kitchen appliance brand De Dietrich to launch its new range of induction cooktops in Australia. The setting was Sydney, with lunch at La Brasserie by David Bransgrove, and featuring Jacques Reymond and Vincent Gadan.
With a choice of entrées and mains, my selection for the day was classical French Pâté en Croûte (rabbit and pork terrine in pastry with pistachios and onion confiture) and Magret de Canard (roast duck breast with sweet potato fondant and sauce rouannaise)
In between courses we got to see the intelligent induction cook top in action. Our Master of Demonstrations was non other than Chef Jacques Reymond. His demonstration on the De Dietrich cooktop, was for his accompaniment Asperges à l’orange (fried asparagus and shemeje with Roquefort, hazelnuts and wakame). What a sensational combination of flavours and textures. Chef even passed on his recipe after the event.
Happily about this time, I also initiated musical chairs, and positioned myself at the luncheon table, right next to the charming and talented Chef Jacques Reymond. Having had the very good fortune to dine at his very fine establishment that bears his name, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to find out more of what maketh the man. His achievements in 20 years at the top of high end Melbourne food, include introducing us as Australians to the degustation. Now he’s also the Australian ambassador (there is a global list) for De Dietrich.
Dessert started with another demonstration, this time by Chef Vincent Gadan of Patisse. Somehow when he asked for an assistant, I too quickly volunteered – a dangerous manouvre when I’d been enjoying myself and my wine. With all inhibitions thus removed, Vincent lit the blowtorch and pointed it in my direction and I took centre stage – while he sipped a glass of wine. It’s not as easy as you think to get that toffee just right.
Back at our seats, we were treated to our sweet finales, with a selection composed of crème brûlée a la vanille, sabayon de fruits rouge and madeleine avec crème diplomat.
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